"Go and read a children’s book with hard pages if you don’t want to be challenged."
|Image of Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Gatiss from BBC Radio Times|
Oh dear, Mr Gatiss. Really? Those who have read this blog for a while will remember that I had a few things to say when Martin Amis made his famous comment that he "might well write a children's book if [he] had a serious brain injury.' I have a few more things to say now.
Leaving aside anything else, this is an incredibly patronising and arrogant attitude to have towards his viewers, (many of whom, quite incidentally, can spot a series of massive plot holes a mile off). Gatiss went on to say: "We’re making the show we want to make. We don’t make it a certain way because fans are pressuring us." That, of course, is his privilege, but to drag children's books into the critical argument is entirely unnecessary, and yes, it makes me angry when a man who purports to be intelligent equates children's books with a lack of the same quality. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: some of the most intelligent and thoughtful writing in any sphere can be found within children's books, whether with hard pages or not. If Gatiss doesn't realise that, then he needs to educate himself out of his creative ivory tower.
PS: And while I'm on a roll (sorry - spoilers here, and my feminist teeth showing) -- the tired old trope of the madwoman in the attic/long lost wicked sister, and the saving of the day via a handy Sherlock hug (despite the fact that she's recently murdered five people)? Seriously, Mr Gatiss? I thought we were long past that kind of lazy writing, not to mention being past the one-dimensional 'evil female' characterisation that was poor Eurus's lot. Ho hum.
OUT NOW: Cleo 2: Chosen and Cleo (UKYA historical fantasy about the teenage Cleopatra VII) '[a] sparkling thriller packed with historical intrigue, humour, loyalty and poison.' Amanda Craig, New Statesman
Also out: Beasts of Olympus series "rippingly funny" Publishers Weekly US starred review
Lucy blogs at An Awfully Big Blog Adventure (No. 1 UK Literature Blog)